Dave Bautista To Star In Bouncer Action Thriller ‘The Cooler’ – Deadline


EXCLUSIVE: FilmNation Entertainment’s newly formed production label, Infrared, has won a great package in a competitive bid snapping up Drew Pearce’s action thriller pitch, Cooler, in which the Dune and Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista will star. Production is expected to start in summer 2023.

Cooler is the first project to come out of the recently announced first-look deal between Infrared and Bautista’s Dogbone Entertainment.

The film follows a South Beach bouncer Ray Sagona, played by Bautista, who is on the brink of finding redemption and getting his family back. But when a drug-filled safe is stolen from the super club he works at, Ray is blackmailed into finding it before the Miami PD narcotics bureau comes to retrieve it on Sunday night. Now, as his past and present collide in ever-more dangerous ways, Ray must survive an epic 36-hour odyssey across Miami Beach to get that safe back… one final Herculean task on his journey towards absolution.

Pearce will produce through his Point of No Return banner along with Bautista’s Dogbone Entertainment, Jonathan Meisner, Drake, Future the Prince, and Drew Simon and Sam Speiser for Infrared. Ian Fisher and Toby Harvard are executive producing on behalf of Point of No Return. Infrared is also financing the film and handling worldwide sales.

Led by Drew Simon, Infrared is set to finance and produce mainstream films with franchise potential built around some of the industry’s greatest entertainers. The label plans to produce three to four mid to high level budget films each year appealing to a broad audience in the action, thriller, comedy, and sci-fi genres.

“Drew Pearce is one of the most exciting storytellers in the action genre and we’re incredibly proud to partner with him to bring his dynamic and thrilling vision to the screen. With Dave at the center of the story, and the creative minds at DreamCrew on our team, we couldn’t have wished for a better project to launch our Dogbone Entertainment deal. This is the type of bold, entertaining project that Infrared is all about and we can’t wait to continue working with this incredible group of people,” said Infrared’s President of Production Simon.

“Dave is one of the most soulful and talented collaborators I’ve been lucky enough to work with — the chance to build an iconic character with him and make the kind of long-dark-night-of-the-soul thriller that I’ve always loved, is too good to be true. The fact that we get to do it all in Miami, guided by the epic cultural knowledge of Drake and Future The Prince, is frankly a mindblower. And there’s nobody more perfect to be our partner than Infrared, whose creative ambitions aligned perfectly with what we want this movie to be,” said Pearce.

Pearce is a multi-hyphenate writer-director-producer. His feature writing credits include Iron Man 3, Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation. His debut feature as writer / director was Hotel Artemis, starring Jodie Foster and Bautista. Pearce also wrote and directed the celebrated Marvel One-Shot film, All Hail the King, starring Ben Kingsley.

The Fall Guy, which Pearce wrote and Executive Produces, will shoot this October for Universal, starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt. Through his production company Point of No Return. Pearce has several film and television projects in the works. Currently, the films that Drew has been credited on have grossed over $2.6 billion dollars WW.

Bautista can next be seen this holiday season in Netflix’s film, Glass Onion: Knives Out 2, which received rave reviews out of its TIFF premiere. He recently wrapped M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin for Universal which will be in theaters February 3, 2023. Other recent films include The Avengers franchise and Netflix’s Army of the Dead feature series.

In 2023 he will produce and star in the Netflix film Unleashed. He will also shoot the MGM Lethal Weapon -esque buddy cop comedy opposite Jason Momoa which originated in a tweet by Dave – “Just going to throw this out into the atmosphere and see what happens. Here we go…Me and Momoa in a Lethal Weapon type buddy cop movie directed by David Leitch. Ok! There it is. Now we wait.” He is currently shooting the Dune sequel with Denis Villeneuve and will be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 next May.

Aubrey “Drake” Graham is a Grammy Award-winning, platinum-selling recording artist, multi-faceted performer and film and TV producer. Toronto born; Adel “Future the Prince” Nur has spent over a decade managing Grammy Award-winning artist Drake. In 2017, Future earned his first credit as an EP alongside Drake in The Carter Effect, a documentary about NBA-star Vince Carter which premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival. In 2019, Future joined the award-winning HBO series Euphoria as an EP and helped revive Channel 4’s drama series, Top Boy. Additionally, Future and Drake signed a first-look deal with Matthew Budman’s Forest Hills Entertainment to begin creating original content.

Pearce is repped by WME and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern, and ID PR. Bautista is repped by CAA, Jonathan Meisner, and attorney Karl Austen.


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